This is no ordinary festival, ladies and gents. No wristbands, no exorbitant entrance fees. Just you, the big city, and the best of what local music have to offer.
This is Fete, and if you think you’re ready, well you ain’t. This year’s Fete de la Musique celebrates its 25th year in the Philippines so everybody’s pulling out all the stops. At its best, this year’s Fete might just be the best cross-cultural multi-gig experience of your life. But if you’re not careful, you might just end up stuck in traffic, and straight-up not have a good time.
So this a little guide for everything you need to know about this year’s Fete, and tips for enjoying it, or at least surviving it. (This pro tip gets an honorable mention though: bring water, for the love of God. There are few things worse than being dehydrated at a gig.)
It’s going to be Manila’s biggest Fete yet
There are over 50 pocket stages. 50!!! If there was a way to caps lock a number, I would. You’ve got bedroom beats. You’ve got boom bap. You’ve got dream pop, rock, grunge jazz, ska, spoken word, freakin’ salsa — there’s even a Zodiac stage. I have no idea what’s going to happen there but there’s literally something for everybody.
They’re not content to stay in Manila, either. Baguio, Pampanga, Bulacan and Palawan are also joining the party. And although this year’s Fete is still content to use Manila as its main stomping grounds, and while it really is a problem that the best music shows that claim to represent the country aren’t happening much outside imperial Manila, it’s still pretty promising that these sorts of music fests show promise of expansion.
Also: this might not come as a surprise to anyone, but most of the stages are concentrated in Makati (as usual, the main stage shows will be at the A-Venue parking lot and the Greenbelt 3 park, while most of the other stages will be in Poblacion) so expect that part of the city to be hella congested. What’s new? We’re telling you now though so that y’all can plan accordingly. If you’re already in Makati, hop from venue to venue by walking. If there’s a stage you really wanna catch, get there early or you might not be able to get in at all.
It doesn’t happen all in one day, but over the course of multiple days
Bruh. When we said Fete was going to be big we didn’t mean just in terms of space. It’s also big in terms of time. The Makati main stage shows and pocket stage shows happen June 22, Intramuros gets its own main stage concert June 28, and June 15 also has Pre-Fete de la Musique stages at Rizal Park, the KMC Skydeck in Bonifacio Global City, and The Peninsula. You can show the Baguio, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Palawan main stages some love on June 29 which will also be the date of the Fete closing party, which happens at 20:20 and XXXX.
Let this varied, eclectic schedule help you decide which stages to go to, how to navigate traffic, how to twist and bend your schedule. You can’t reasonably be at every single stage, but there is a lot of time for you to catch Fete’s good vibrations, as long as you plan accordingly.
You might have the chance to go to France, we’re not kidding
The first Fete ever was held in Paris, June 1982, during the summer solstice, when the daylight hours where the longest. To honor those roots, this year’s Fete PH is holding a video contest in which participants stand a chance to win two tickets to France. No joke.
All the details are here, but basically, all you have to do is submit a 25-second video about your fondest Fete-related memory. There are hashtags. The video has to be creative. Y’all get the idea. Personally, my favorite Fete memory are way too tus to share, so you guys can take the prize this time.
You can find more details and the full schedule on Fete PH’s official Facebook page.